It hurts me to even have to write this blog post. I know James Bryant feels the opposite. Last fall, we warned you no two La Ninas are alike and mild forecasts can easily bust.
NOAA's winter outlook issued last October had a high chance for above average temperatures for much of the southern United States including Texas. It only took 1 week of extreme cold to bust this forecast into pieces.
Winter turned out to be much colder in areas where the outlook called for warmth and it was warmer where it called for cold. Complete opposite
For Little Rock...
Record breaking snow and cold extended down to the Gulf coast.
Thanks to Meteorologist James Bryant for helping me research La Nina summers since 1950.
This La Nina is forecast to weaken a little, but strengthen this summer and fall again. Since we should stay with La Nina for much of the year, we'll exclude all years when we transition to or out of a La Nina. We'll only include years which had a La Nina from start to finish since 1950.
1950 - below average
1955 - below average
1956 - average
1974 - below average
1975 - below average
1985 - below average
1999 - above average
2000- above average
2008 - average
2011 - above average
It's very interesting all years with full La Ninas from 1950 to 1985 featured average to below average summer temperatures. Also, 1985 did have a severe arctic outbreak early in the year so that's an interesting year to look at and POSSIBLY follow.
All La Nina years since 1999 have average to above average temperatures.
Now let's consider the recent past. The last 2 summers did not produce 100 degree heat in central Arkansas. That's rare. It's even more rare for it to happen 3 consecutive summers. The law of averages tell us it's likely to reach 100 this summer. However, there is precedence for 3 consecutive summers without hitting 100°
1948 - 1950
1919 - 1921
1901 - 1907
1888 - 1894
What about drought? Dry conditions will cause temperatures to skyrocket and it can feedback into a full blown drought. The heat and dry weather can get worse and worse over time. Coming out of these droughts can be very slow and difficult.
The southwestern United States into west Texas have extreme drought conditions now.
The drought outlook shows that will persist with development likely east into Oklahoma and much of Texas through the end of May and to start Meteorological summer.
A very hot summer is likely to develop out west first, then we'll see how far east it spreads. Much of this will depend on spring and early summer rainfall. If we start to dry, look out! A very hot summer will be likely.
NOAA has a high chance for above average temperatures for much of the United States this summer. Their confidence decreases a bit over Arkansas and points northeastward. That may be an indication of wetter than average conditions.
Odds tilt towards above average rainfall over eastern Arkansas and the eastern United States.